Who pushes your emotional hot buttons?
People who try to make you feel guilty? Yellers? Whiners and complainers? People who talk behind your back? How about bullies?
Here’s a method to help you negotiate, stay in your power, communicate fairly, and get what you want, even around people, behaviors, and situations that make you see red, want to throw up your hands, or stick your head under a pillow.
What’s your default mode in these situations?
Are you an avoider who blanks out or becomes placating when you speak? Do you hate yourself for not pulling up your big girl panties and dealing?
Or, do you get tough and aggressive? Are you contemptuous of women who act diffidently? Do you think, “Why doesn’t she pull up her big girl panties and deal?!?”
In either case, ladies,
Your Knickers are in a Twist!
None of those reactions will advance your objectives in a real or lasting manner. That’s the bad news.
The good news is you can learn to stay clear and keep your cool, even when everyone around you is losing theirs – by negotiating.
Yes, negotiating skills can help you do much more than increase your salary. They will help you in a myriad of other difficult conversations, both personally and professionally. Negotiation skills are excellent for helping you accept conflicting opinions without losing your ground, and staying focused and connected to others in the midst of chaos.
Negotiating The Twists and Turns of Life
One negotiating model I find particularly useful is “Triangle Talk,” outlined by Kare Anderson, in her book “Getting What You Want.” * I recommend it highly. It’s a simple, subtle, yet powerful three-step model.
I use it any time I need to build ground and come to agreement with someone whose views are different from mine and I’ve taught many clients to use it. When I directed the career center at a women’s college, I taught the seniors to negotiate. The negotiators received higher starting salaries, sometimes startlingly higher – and a huge boost in self-confidence.
The steps are:
1. Know exactly what you want. What you want is your guide and will help you stay focused on the issues (rather than emotions).
2. Find out what the other person wants and make certain they feel heard. This will build commonality between you and help you understand what’s really going on – rather than trusting your assumptions.
3. Propose action in a way they can accept. Bridge their interests, to your common interests (where you agree) to your interests (what you want).
It’s called ‘triangle talk’ because the steps form a triangular image you visualize whenever you want to remind yourself to stand your ground, while respecting the other person.
Negotiating will help you stay in your power when the going gets tough.
With practice you’ll realize that almost everything is negotiable, which opens the way to an expanded view of who you are and what is possible for you. You will no longer feel limited by people and situations that used to seem intractable.
Please share your experiences with negotiating, and books, programs and other resources you found useful in advancing your negotiation skills in the comments below.
* “Getting What You Want” is out of print, but you can find used copies on Amazon.
Phyllis Mufson is a career / small business consultant and a certified coach. She helps people build a bridge between their wildest dreams and their current situation. You can learn more about Phyllis here. and on Twitter where she is @PhyllisMufson.